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Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

Maci Quam’s road to success as Miss Dance Team Iowa

Maci+Quam+after+participating+and+winning+the+Miss+Iowa+Dance+Team+competition.+Photo+credit+to+Maci+Quam.
Maci Quam after participating and winning the Miss Iowa Dance Team competition. Photo credit to Maci Quam.

Maci Quam, Pleasant Valley Platinum captain, has danced almost her whole life and been a staple of Pleasant Valley’s dance program all four years of high school.

Competing and succeeding in individual solo state, and leading the team through team state, Quam has brought success to the district. “Maci is truly one of the best leaders. She always makes sure that we are prepared and ready to work as a team to accomplish our goals. She is one of the best leaders and goes out of her way to reach out to us,” senior dancer Aubrey Holst said. 

But for Quam, high school dance is only part of her journey. Quam is on the competitive dance team at Above the Barre Dance Academy, where she participates in many competitions. 

“Dance allows me to express my feelings and tell a story through movement, but also has allowed me to find a second home,” said Quam.“It has allowed me to find some of my best friends that have brought so many memories that will continue to last a lifetime.”

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Recently, Quam chose to expand her repertoire and compete in the first ever Miss Dance Team Iowa Pageant. 

“I chose to participate in this competition to experience something different and get out of my comfort zone. It also never hurts to get more practice in for my solo,” she said.

Quam went in with low expectations. Nobody had ever competed in this pageant before, but with determination and an outstanding performance Quam can officially say, “I feel very honored to be named the first ever Miss Dance Team Iowa.” 

The competition provided an opportunity for dancers that wished to represent their High School Dance Team as a soloist. Each dancer competed in three categories: a solo routine (70% of final score), technical/improv spotlight (20% of final score), and interview (10% of final score). 

Quam relied heavily on practice, “Before the competition I continually practiced the three elements in order to ensure I felt very confident out on the floor.” 

Quam had to make a change from her typical preparation methods. “Usually before a competition I glance at the last results and watch videos from prior contestants to get a feel for how the competition is set up,” she said. Since this was the first of the competition ever, she could not rely on past information.

As winner of the local competition, Quam  now has the opportunity to represent Iowa at the Miss Dance Drill Team USA Nationals. This takes place in the spring of 2024 in California. 

Quam is excited to get back to work as she prepares for the ISDDTA championships and other competitions. 

Quam’s ultimate dream is to dance in the future and follow her passions, “I would love to represent a large school during game days and on the nationals floor.”

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Cassi Paustian, Infographic Manager
Cassi Paustian is a senior at Pleasant Valley High School. Cassi is this year’s infographic manager for the Spartan Shield. At PVHS, her favorite subjects are related to Math and Science. Cassi actively participates in Girls Wrestling for both Pleasant Valley and Young Guns Wrestling Club. Some of her favorite things outside of school are to hang out with friends and family, go kayaking, travel, workout, eat ice cream, and show cattle. Additionally, Cassi was this year’s 2023 Mississippi Valley Fair Queen. In the Fall of 2024, Cassi plans to attend Iowa State University to major in Biological Systems Engineering and minor in Economics. Cassi is very excited for her senior year and taking on the role of infographic manager!

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